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Moderna confirms agreement with MOH to supply Singapore with COVID-19 vaccine

Moderna confirms agreement with MOH to supply Singapore with COVID-19 vaccine

A syringe seen in front of a displayed Moderna logo. (File photo: Reuters)

SINGAPORE: Moderna said on Tuesday (Dec 15) it has concluded an agreement with Singapore's Ministry of Health (MOH) to supply mRNA-1273, its COVID-19 vaccine, to the country. 

The agreement will "support ongoing efforts to secure access to a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine for the people of Singapore", said the biotechnology company.

The volume of doses and financial details of the deal were not disclosed.

READ: Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine approved by Singapore, first shipment expected by end-December

READ: Data on Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine 'robustly and thoroughly reviewed', says HSA 

"We recognise that addressing this global pandemic will require a number of vaccines and therapeutic options, and we are proud of the role Moderna has been able to play in this global effort,” said CEO Stephane Bancel.

Data from a Phase 3 study involving 30,000 participants in the United States demonstrated efficacy of 94.1 per cent against COVID-19 and a 100 per cent success rate in preventing severe cases, the company said.

Moderna's COVID-19​​​​​​​ vaccine is administered in two shots, 28 days apart. The Pfizer-BioNTech is also a two-dose vaccine, to be administered 21 days apart​​​​​​​.

Moderna has said there were no serious safety concerns with mRNA-1273. The most common side effects were fatigue, injection site redness and pain, headache and body aches, which increased after the second dose and were short-lived, it said.

The company plans to be able to deliver 500 million to 1 billion doses of the vaccine a year from 2021. 

The vaccine remains stable for up to 12 hours at room temperature and up to 30 days at 2 to 8 degrees Celsius, the temperature of a standard refrigerator. At -20 degrees Celsius, the vaccine remains stable for up to six months.

Pfizer and BioNTech's vaccine won US emergency-use authorisation on Friday. An outside US Food and Drug Administration advisory panel is scheduled to review the Moderna vaccine on Thursday, with emergency use expected to be granted shortly thereafter.

READ: Singapore to start Phase 3 of COVID-19 reopening on Dec 28

READ: Social gatherings of up to 8 people allowed from Dec 28, further reopening of activities in Phase 3

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Monday that Singapore has approved Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine, with the first shipment due to arrive in the country by the end of this year. 

Other vaccines are also expected to arrive in Singapore in the coming months, and there will be “enough vaccines for everyone” by the third quarter of next year if all goes according to plan, he said in a televised address.

The Government placed “multiple bets” to sign advance purchase agreements and make early down payments for the most promising vaccine candidates, said Mr Lee. This included deals with Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech and Sinovac, with more than S$1 billion set aside for these deals.

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Source: CNA/ic(cy)

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